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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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North Carolina Classical, English, and Mathematical School

by Elizabeth Reid Murray, 2006

The North Carolina Classical, English, and Mathematical School—at times also called North Carolina Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy or Raleigh Institute—was a preparatory school for boys in Raleigh in the 1840s led by Robert Gray. The school opened in one of the buildings that had previously housed the Episcopal School for Boys on the Hillsborough Street site that became the campus of Saint Mary's School. In addition to "the regular Preparatory Classical Course," the school offered instruction in French, music, painting, and drawing. Gray's specialties were the classics and English, and his assistant principal Charles Doratt's were the visual arts.

The school moved in its second year into a remodeled school building in Baptist Grove (Moore Square), and later to an unidentified campus described only as "in the suburbs." In mid-1844, as the nation was involved in events leading to the Mexican War, the faculty and curriculum were enlarged to include military training. The former principal of the Portsmouth, Va., Military Academy, Oel A. Buck, became coprincipal and taught military tactics, including infantry and artillery practice, and introduced civil engineering and surveying. After Buck's departure in 1846 for service in the Mexican War, Simon Preston took over the mathematics and military department. The school apparently closed that year or early the next.


Elizabeth Reid Murray, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina (1983).

Martha Stoops, The Heritage: The Education of Women at St. Mary's College, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1842-1982 (1984).

Additional Resources:

"The illustrated hand-book, a new guide for travelers through the United States of America: containing a description of the states, cities, towns, villages, watering places, colleges, etc., etc.,; with the railroad, stage, and steamboat routes, the distances from place to place, and the fares on the great traveling routes. Embellished with 125 highly finished engravings. Accompanied by a large and accurate map", The Internet Archive:

Historical Raleigh. With sketches of Wake County (from 1771) and its important towns; descriptive, biographical, educational, industrial, religious, by Moses Neal, 1913:

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